It appears that the drama is finally over.
After a couple of days worth of back and forth, Mike Anderson appears to have finally made a decision — he’s headed to Arkansas. There were rumors swirling this morning that he was leaning heavily towards Arkansas, and this afternoon Jeff Goodman and Sports by Brooks reported that Anderson has informed the Missouri Athletics Department of his decision. (Funny side note — in that SbB link, there is a picture of Anderson’s former parking spot, where the sign labeling the spot Anderson’s has already been removed.)
As you should be well aware by now, Anderson was a long-time assistant at Arkansas under Nolan Richardson. He will be taking over a program that has some decent talent returning and a loaded recruiting class that Anderson is going to have to work to keep. It will also be interesting to see if Phil or Matt Pressey, whose father is good friends with Anderson, follow him out the door.
For my money, the opening at Missouri is not the best job available, at least in the short term — we could probably argue the long term benefits of a gig like Georgia Tech, NC State, or Oklahoma. There is enough talent returning to immediately be considered a contender in the Big 12.
And if I’m the Tigers, I set my sights on VCU’s Shaka Smart.
Politics and salaries aside, when it comes to the basketball, Smart is the perfect fit for Missouri. The roster make up of the Tigers is ideal for the system he currently runs at VCU considering Smart’s system isn’t all that different from Anderson’s. Smart also presses and his guard-heavy teams also take quite a few threes.
VCU has a good history with coaches, as well. Jeff Capel took Oklahoma to the 2009 Elite 8 while Anthony Grant nearly got Alabama into the NCAA Tournament this season.